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What can I do before or after lien is filed against me if I am contesting an invoice by a restoration company?

ArizonaMechanics Lien

I am a landlord of a single dwelling home in Peoria, Arizona. I had a leak in tenant's home and insurance company allowed restoration company to clean up the wet mess, dry the area, etc. The company was supposed to then deal with insurance company and give estimate for repairs. The restoration company said they don't do estimates and the insurance company said they needed it to proceed. The insurance company eventually contacted another contractor, paid me the claim for the work done by restoration company and the invoice for the company that did the repairs...but it took 10 weeks because the restoration company and insurance company got into stalemate. I want to pay less than 100% of restoration company's invoice due to the breach that the restoration company was going to take care of "everything" Instead my tenants are angry and want rent rebate for living without the master bathroom for 10 weeks. . The restoration company says they will file a lien if I do not pay 100% of their invoice. How do I challenger the lien. The restoration company will not negotiate. Thank you for your help.

1 reply

Jan 7, 2019
That's a good question, and I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Before looking too far into how to challenge a lien filing, it's worth noting that unless serious amounts are in play, it might be cheaper to make full payment than it would to enter into a legal dispute over some portion of payment. Challenging a lien filing will often require some form of legal action, and the cost of hiring a lawyer for representation coupled with the risk of potential failure in challenging the lien claim could make the risk greater than the reward, especially when work was performed and accepted. Further, the following resources may be useful in the face of a lien claim or potential lien claim (respectively): A Mechanics Lien Was Filed on My Property – What Do I Do Now? and I Just Received a Notice of Intent to Lien – What Should I Do Now?. Regarding Arizona specifically, one option may be to "bond off" the lien filing by securing a surety bond to take the place of the property as a sort of collateral for the claim. You can learn more about bonding off liens here: Primer on Mechanics Lien Bonds and Bonding Off A Mechanics Lien. Of course, bonding off a lien can be very expensive - and instead of discharging a lien via bond, if there are issues with a lien's validity, having the lien challenged by a local real estate or construction attorney is often a better (and cheaper) option. Mechanics liens are subject to very strict timing and notice rules, so there might be an issue with the lien filing that could render the lien invalid. You can learn more about some of those requirements here: Arizona Lien & Notice FAQs. For more clarity on what options for avoiding lien liability might be available, it'd likely be wise to reach out to a local construction or real estate attorney. They will be able to review any and all relevant information and then advise on how best to proceed.
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